Even though individuals feel connected to others through the screens of their phones, they tend to isolate themselves from individuals in real life. If you look around you the next time you take public transit, you will witness a sea of people, crammed together like sardines in a can, most of which are dissolving into their phone screens. We have moved past the societal norm of saying hello to those you pass on the street and instead have opted for a much more neck straining method of communication.
It’s no surprise that individuals are using social media as their main connection to others. With the constant advancement of smartphones, most of us have, at all times and in the palm of our hands, a user-friendly web of connection to others through social media. Why would we need to say hello to a stranger on the bus to satisfy our communication needs when we can simply talk to our friends through various social mediums on our phones?
While talking to a friend, I asked her the question: “How do you think social media changes your behavior”? She replied that social media has made her somewhat detached from the world. She described that social media takes up a good majority of her time in a day. She went on to say, “I’m always obsessed with the number of likes I get but in real life, those likes don’t matter”. She said that a good chunk of time spent on social media is wasted. “All the time I spent taking the perfect Instagram photo could have been time spent talking to others”.
Technological determinism proposes that technology drives social change. It suggests that changes in communication technology affect the communication process. In this way, social media changes human behavior, not by the messages sent through social mediums but rather by the use of technology with which we send those messages through. So, the next time you pick up your cellphone and check on your social media, decide if it is you or your cellphone that is dictating how you communicate.